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Read my User's Guide to Screenwriters

Movie watching Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I’m both an Oscars voter and a BAFTA voter, so this is the season when I watch a ridiculous number of films in a short space of time.¬†I go to the Picture House in Uckfield, or to industry screenings in London, or sit on our giant sofa with members of my family, and enrage them¬†by predicting the plots as the films unfold; and then when it’s over by pointing out all the ways the film could have been better. I try not to do this, I really do, as I should, given my own fallible record. But so far this Read More

Recent Questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Georgie

December 16th 2014

I realise this is a long shot, but I grew up on your Wind on Fire trilogy alongside Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and His Dark Materials, and of those yours is the only one not to be turned into a film. I understand that the butchering of the Northern Lights (and Harry Potter) would discourage you from wanting to allow Hollywood (or whoever) to similarly waste your books, but surely as a phenomenal screenwriter yourself with a reputation and influence in the film industry, you could manage it yourself? Or are you against them being screened altogether? If so, why? Is it ever likely? Apologies if you've had these questions a hundred times before.

William Nicholson responded:

I would love to see films of my Wind on Fire, but no production company has come forward with the finance, so far at least. My books don't have the fame of the others you mention, which perhaps explains it; and though I have a successful career as a screenwriter, that alone isn't enough. The financier has to believe enough people will go to the cinema to repay their investment. Maybe one day...

Posted by Nomxolisi

December 13th 2014

No question. Just praises. If there's another section for this then I apologize in advance for being too lazy to look for it. Anyway, I just discovered you the other day. I was applying for a job at place that sells books and they asked why I want to work there. "Because I'm broke?" of course never cuts it in interviews (people like to be lied to as I'm sure you're quite aware). So I quoted one of your lines "We read to know we're not alone." (I'd seen it on Instagram quite frequently and thought I'd look up who said it.) I also called you my favorite Screenwriter/playwright/novelist. Another lie of course at that moment because I don't actually know any other Screenwriter/playwright/novelists. I've been going through this website for like 3 days now. I want to read everything. You're so funny and also thoughtful but never ever boring. I read your article you wrote on the Daily Telegraph on your book The Society Of Others. I sent it to all my friends. Then I read it again like 16 times. Anyways, I really really like your writing style. You're a great story teller. Possibly the best I've come across thus far who's still living. (I actually thought you were like some dead writer from like the 1600's before I Googled you). Keep walking.

William Nicholson responded:

Did you get the job? Now I feel personally responsible. I like 'Keep walking' - in front of me as I write I have a card painted in bright colours by my youngest daughter long ago that says 'Push on!' So I push on.

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Past and current works



Greetings cards hand-written by me that say the things you can't say, now available here.


  • The Lovers of Amerherst
  • The Society of Others
  • The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life
  • All the Hopeful Lovers
  • The Golden Hour
  • Motherland
  • Reckless


  • The Windsinger
  • Slaves of the Mastery
  • Firesong
  • Seeker
  • Jango
  • Noman
  • Rich and Mad


  • Shadowlands
  • Gladiator
  • Mandela
  • Les Miserables
  • Firelight
  • Nell
  • Sarafina
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age


  • The Retreat from Moscow
  • Shadowlands
  • Katherine Howard